Las Vegas Officials Hope World of Concrete Paves Way for Convention Recovery

Posted on: March 18, 2021, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: March 18, 2021, 01:19h.

Las Vegas is set to hold its first major convention in more than a year. Area officials hope its success will ignite a return of exhibitions, and as a result, an economic recovery for Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas convention World of Concrete
Attendees peruse the World of Concrete exhibition floor in 2019. After a hiatus, the show is set to return to Las Vegas in June. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The World of Concrete (WOC) announced this week that it has received approval from the Nevada Department of Business and Industry to host the event June 8-10. 

The commercial construction, concrete, and masonry exhibition will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall and new West Hall. The $989 million West Hall was completed in January. WOC will be the first convention inside the 1.4-million-square-foot venue.

WOC typically draws more than 60,000 people to Las Vegas for its annual event. The convention did not reveal what sort of numbers it expects for the 2021 edition. 

However, Informa Markets, which produces WOC, hired a third-party research company to poll past attendees to gauge their level of comfort attending the June show. Eighty percent said they were likely to attend. 

Recovery Roadmap

Sisolak ordered all large indoor gatherings to stop a year ago this month. The halt on such events was devastating for Las Vegas and its gaming industry, as conventions are relied on to keep hotel rooms occupied and casino floors busy through the week. 

A little more than 19 million people visited Las Vegas last year. In 2019, that number was 42.5 million visitors. 

But with Sisolak recently increasing indoor capacity to 50 percent, and the COVID-19 vaccine continuing to be administered across the country, plus the WOC news, there’s a budding sense of optimism in Southern Nevada.

There’s real pent-up demand for travel and there’s pent-up demand for the Las Vegas experience,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, senior vice president of communications at the LVCVA. “Now what you are looking at is the opportunity for travel to really reopen, and for people to really start planning their vacations.”

Along with WOC, Nelson-Kraft says 10 other large conventions put on by Informa Markets are planning to return to Las Vegas this year. They are:

  • Vegas Cosmetic Surgery (June)
  • The International Surface Event (June)
  • WasteExpo (June)
  • The Aesthetic Show (July)
  • Inside Self Storage World Expo (July)
  • MAGIC Fall (August)
  • International Roofing Expo (August)
  • Licensing Expo (August)
  • SupplySide West & Food Ingredients (October)
  • International Sanitary Supply Association Expo (November)

Campaigns Forthcoming

The LVCVA says it has been hard at work developing advertising schemes to lure back visitors and business. 

The first campaign is titled “Fast Forward.” It’s geared towards the convention industry. She says a television commercial that will be deployed nationwide will release next month. 

“We are promoting the entire destination,” Nelson-Kraft explained.